Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Carving Out a New Nook in the Market

When Barnes & Noble hints that they're going to slow-track their Nook e-reader business and "focus more on licensing their content to other device makers" -- as reported by The New York Times on Sunday -- what on earth are they talking about?

B&N is a retailer; they don't own the content they sell. They don't even own the relationship with the content providers -- that's all on the publishers. So how can they possibly find a successful business strategy out of trying to shove themselves into the middle of a marketplace that has been aggressively shedding middlemen for several years?

Are they trying to imply that they think Nook technology is so special and unique -- unlike a thousand other e-readers, most of which failed -- that they can live on licensing it to some other company that wants to beat its head against Amazon's predatory discounts for a few years?

Seriously, is there any strategy that could conceivably work behind that quote, or is it just bland waffling to hide the true cluelessness beneath?

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